Responding to latest official figures on UK trade, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The increase in EU exports and decrease in non-EU exports in the 3 months to February highlights how important it is for Europe to play a key driving role in the Government’s future trade agenda. The data matches with IoD findings, which show export growth has been particularly prominent in the EU for businesses over the past two years.
“It is welcome news that exports increased more than the UK’s share of imports in the 12 months to February. However, we must be mindful of the significant role that imports play in signalling consumer confidence, domestic demand, and in cementing the UK’s place as an important hub for international supply chains.
“It is critical that, after Brexit, politicians look at the trade puzzle as business do, and move away from dividing the world into EU vs non-EU perspectives. That attitude politicises trade unnecessarily. Given the current global climate, it is imperative that we focus on widening the UK’s exports overall rather than resorting to prioritising certain regions over others.”